Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Balsamic Vinaigrette

This might sound weird if you've never had a warm salad before, but I promise the spinach really holds up well to the warm dressing (dressing made with bacon fat, by the way). I'm just going to let the bacon convince you. Bacon bacon bacon. Just try it. It's really a very simple recipe without a lot of ingredients (no hard boiled eggs here... why does it seem like every spinach salad has to have those??). The recipe says it serves four as a first course, but John and I took down the whole salad as a side dish to our steak dinner.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Balsamic Vinaigrette
from Cook's Illustrated

5 ounces baby spinach (about 6 cups)
2 slices bacon (about 2 ounces), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Place spinach in large bowl. Fry bacon in small skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes; transfer with slotted spoon to paper-towel lined plate, leaving fat in skillet. Return skillet to medium heat and add oil, onion, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add vinegar; swirl to incorporate. Pour warm dressing over spinach and toss gently to wilt. Sprinkle bacon over spinach; serve immediately.

Download a printable recipe.


Anonymous said...

How about adding some craisons to it... I've has something similar with craisons and it was really good... :) xoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I second that this is a DELICIOUS recipe! I noticed that their super similar version in The America's Test Kitchen (which uses apple cider vinegar instead of the balsamic, and is otherwise the same), does call for the sliced hard boiled egg, so I chuckled that you noticed the omission here. Anyways, this was our favorite of the two versions and an awesome side dish!